Social Enterprise Boost

Boost your skills and get the knowledge you need to start a social enterprise in this exciting new programme.

Finance & funding Grant Business support Start-up Trading business Sunderland South Tyneside Operations

Register for this scheme

    This scheme is provided by PNE Enterprise

    PNE Enterprise

    Boost your skills and get the knowledge you need to start a social enterprise in this exciting new programme.

    What is the Social Enterprise Boost Fund? 

    The Social Enterprise Boost Fund is a new programme funded by the UK Government. It aims to kick start and accelerate social enterprise activity in local areas and demonstrate social enterprises’ impact on their communities.

    As part of the programme, social enterprises get access to free one-to-one support and coaching, group workshops and digital resources, as well as seed funding starting at £1000 to try out and grow social enterprise ideas.

    Firstport are working with PNE to deliver the Social Enterprise Boost Fund in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

    What funding is available? 

    The Social Enterprise Boost Fund grants help new social entrepreneurs in Sunderland and South Tyneside start and grow their businesses. There are three levels of funding available, depending on the stage and needs of the social entrepreneur/enterprise.  

    Kickstart – These grants of up to £5,000 will help you cover the costs of setting up a social enterprise.  If you have already set up your business, Kickstart grants can help you with development costs such as training and equipment.  

    Grow – If you make good progress and successfully complete a Kick Start grant, you can go on to apply for a Grow grant of up to £5000 to take your idea further.  You must demonstrate how the additional funding would allow you to develop or consolidate your idea.  

    Try – We will also provide some smaller grants of up to £1,000 to support very early stage applicants who are not quite ready for Kickstart, but could benefit from help to pilot an idea and explore its potential. We hope that some successful Try recipients will then move on to apply for further funding through the other programme levels, with support from us. 

    The grants are designed to help social entrepreneurs progress as their ideas develop. The maximum amount an applicant can secure is £10,000.  In most cases, this is likely to consist of a £5000 Kickstart grant, followed by a £5,000 Grow grant. However, in the event that an applicant receives a £1,000 Try grant, and then a £5,000 Kickstart grant, the maximum Grow grant they can apply for is £4000. 

    Who can apply?

    The fund is open to early-stage social enterprises and individuals seeking to set up a new social enterprise in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

    Social enterprises

    To be eligible, your existing social enterprise:

    • Has been trading for five years or less
    • Has a turnover of less than £250,000 in their last financial year
    • Is incorporated and registered on Companies House with a UK-registered office
    • Has a governing document which demonstrates that they are a social enterprise under the following government definition: a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or the community rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners
    • Has a bank account with at least two signatories in the enterprise’s name.


    If applying as an individual, you are eligible if you:

    • Seek to set up a new social enterprise (fitting the above government definition).
    • Are aged 18 or over;
    • Are based in the UK; and
    • have a bank account in your name

    How to Apply?

    Anyone interested in applying can visit the Firstport website to access the guidance notes and the application link.

    The funding is now open and will operate on a rolling basis until 27 September 2024. This means that applicants can make an application at any time during this period.

    Talk to one of our team who will help you connect to the support you need to grow and develop your business.

    if your local authority isn't listed above, you can view details of how to get in touch with your local Growth Hub